Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on cross-cultural contact and conflict, set in colonial Deerfield, Massachusetts.
This workshop uses the 1704 Raid on Deerfield as an entry point for studying encounters between Native Americans, African-American slaves, and European settlers in the early colonial period. During the raid-part of a war between England and France over the Spanish crown-French and Native American forces set fire to Deerfield and slew more than fifty villagers. Workshop topics include Native American nations and alliances, European religious and political conflicts, daily life in colonial and tribal settlements, slavery, and captivity narratives. Based at the Old Deerfield Village Historic Landmark District, the project involves visits to several collections of eighteenth century artifacts, the colonial Wells-Thorn House, and the Pocumtuck children's museum, as well as the Pocumtuck Fort, where an archaeologist introduces participants to an active dig site. As part of a session on the legacy of the raid in history and memory, participants view and discuss two films, Ononko's Vow (1910) and Captive: The Story of Esther (2005). Among the readings are Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney's Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield, William Cronon's Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England; and Joanne Melish's essay "Slavery and the Slave Trade in Colonial New England." Participants also read The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America by Yale historian John Demos, who gives a talk on his research. Other visiting historians include Joanne Melish (University of Kentucky) and Kevin Sweeney (Amherst College). Margaret Bruchac, a Wobanaki Indian and anthropologist at University of Connecticut, lectures on local Indian history and lead a tour of former tribal lands. Participants spend part of each day developing lesson plans and other curricular materials under the guidance of staff historians and master teachers.